Developers of WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging platforms, are working on a number of new features. In addition to these features, a previous report also indicated that Facebook, the parent company for WhatsApp is thinking about integrating the app with Instagram Direct and Facebook Messenger. The report indicated that the company plans on allowing users on these platforms to send messages to other users across platforms.
If the report about Facebook planning to integrate the different messaging platforms is true, it is highly likely that it will be months, if not more than a year before we actually see the integrated app. In addition to that, all the three messaging platforms should maintain their individual infrastructure and features. Though it is all speculation at the time as the company has not shared anything regarding the reports of integration. In the meantime, we thought that it is worth running down the features that WhatsApp is planning to add to the platform.
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We have highlighted about nine new features and changes that the company is planning to bring to its app. All the features are at different stages ranging from development, internal testing, to even beta testing.
Fingerprint authentication: Developers have started working on a fingerprint authentication mechanism that should allow users to lock the entire app. This way users will not have to use a third-party solution to protect WhatsApp against unauthorized use. This feature is likely to allow users to block specific sections of the app, and it is currently under development.
Third-party keyboard stickers integration: The company is working on sticker integration when it comes to third-party keyboards. This means that WhatsApp will be able to read and then send stickers that are already available in the keyboard apps. WhatsApp has teamed up with Google to bring the integration to Gboard and it is likely that the integration will reach other keyboards gradually. As part of the functionality, WhatsApp would automatically detect the sticker on the Gboard app, and then convert it into a native WhatsApp sticker instead of an image.
Revamped audio picker: The company is working on a revamped audio file picker in the app. As part of the revamp, users will see any album art that is associated with the audio files in addition to previewing the contents of the file before sharing. WhatsApp is currently beta testing this feature on Android.
Show in Chat button: Interface tweaks are also in work where developers are working on showing a new “Show in Chat” button in the Shared media option. Tapping that button will allow users to jump to the point in chat where the image was shared in the first place. This feature is currently under development.
Reply privately: The ability to reply privately will be a new addition to the group conversations on WhatsApp. As part of this new feature, users will be able to directly send private messages to group members without the need of saving their contact details on their contact list. It is already available for users on Android and will soon make its way to iOS users.
3D Touch support for Status: Developers have added 3D touch support to Status on the beta for iOS. 3D support was already available in the Chats section which allowed users to check the chat messages without opening the chat while keeping the message marked as unread. This feature will basically let iOS users quickly take a peek at the content shared as the status without alerting the user.
Sharing files to multiple chats: The app will soon get a new feature addition that will allow users to forward a file or media attachment to separate chats at the same time. This means that users don’t have to send the content to a single chat and then repeating the process for all other chats.
Improvements to Sticker managements and stickers on media: WhatsApp is making improvements to its stickers feature while introducing fine tweaks. The company seems to be testing automatic grouping of multiple stickers. The company is also working on allowing users to add stickers on media that users share including photos.